Technical CV Tips For The Holidays
Many technical candidates use the holidays to kick start their job search. Time away from work not only gives you free time to update your CV (and LinkedIn profile), but also time to reflect on the past year and think about what you want from a new job.
But you’re not alone! Many other people are also using this time to update their CVs and start putting feelers out to see what the job market is like. In fact, for recruiters the first few weeks after the holidays are our busiest times of year – both after the summer break and in the New Year. Therefore the job market is more competitive, even in fields like construction engineering recruitment, technology and IT security (our specialist sectors) where top candidates are in high demand.
Therefore you need to really stand out from the crowd and use your CV as an opportunity to market yourself.
Updating Your Technical CV
Recruiters like Energi often talk about ‘marketing a CV’. Our role is very much a sales / marketing one, selling candidates in to potential employers. Just as marketers need content in the form of marketing material to get products and services in front of customers; recruiters need content to engage employers. That’s where your CV comes in.
When you start thinking about your CV as a piece of marketing content, you can see why it can’t just be a record of your skills, qualifications and experience. In the marketing world that would be the equivalent of a product specification, something that is used further in the marketing to sales funnel not at the ‘attract’ stage when you’re trying to get an interview. Of course your CV does have to include this information, but more importantly it’s got to give the potential employer clear reasons to invite you to an interview and ultimately offer you a job.
Here are my tips for writing a CV that really markets your skills, abilities and unique qualities to potential employers.
Start with a blank canvas
Even if you’re updating an existing CV, start off from scratch. You can add information from it later on, but it’s a good exercise to start afresh and approach it from a new perspective – where you are now, not where you were when you last updated your CV.
Be clear about the job you want
One-size-fits-all CVs are not as effective as those that are written for a specific job. If you’re open to different opportunities, it may be worth creating different versions of your CV for each area of interest. Remember that if you’re applying for a vacant role, you should also tailor it to the employer and the job description.
Sketch out a buyer persona
Marketers first think about their ‘buyer personas’, their target customers and what their needs, challenges and desires are. You can do the same by thinking about the type of companies you would like to work for and what they need and want from employees in your area of expertise. Think about their business objectives and also want they need to be successful and ensure a smooth running operation.
Think about what you can bring to the table
With your buyer persona in mind and what they need from you, identify your strengths, skills and experience that provide a solution to their needs. These are the key things you should highlight on your CV, both in your personal statement and in your achievements in different positions.
Review your performance appraisals
Have a look at past appraisals to identify any key positive traits that others have highlighted. These might be things you wouldn’t have thought about including, but from an employer’s perspective are very important. Also look at any weaknesses identified, you may want to think about how you can address them if necessary.
Think about where you can add value
Marketers often have to market products that are very similar to their competitor’s products. So they look for ways to differentiate their products. Job candidates can be in the same position when they’re up against other candidates with similar skills and experience. That’s why you need to differentiate yourself by highlighting where you can add value to the business. Have you got skills or qualities developed either at work or in your personal life, that will be valuable to the employer?
With the information you have identified above, and with a specific job and type of employer (buyer persona) in mind, write a personal statement that concisely explains the benefits of hiring you. Write it in the first person and give the recruiter clear reasons for inviting you to an interview and potentially offering you a job.
Then you can fill in all the details about key skills, qualifications and career history, aligning each with the job you ultimately want. Avoid listing ‘responsibilities’ under each job, instead highlight your achievements in that role and key attributes that you have, and they want.
Once your CV is updated you can share it with recruitment agencies so they can market it to potential employers. However, if you’re applying for a specific role don’t forget to review your CV again and tweak it where necessary for that employer and job.
Enjoy the holidays and good luck with your job search!
Register with Energi People with here, it only takes 30 seconds if your CV is ready to upload!